Living math

I've been looking over the website LivingMath.net recently. Lots of good stuff there.

What is 'living math'? How do you make math "come to life"?

Well, I guess we could ask that when did math become 'dead' and who killed it?

Some people feel that it is worksheets, tests, drill, and 'scope and sequence' that killed it. But I don't feel it's that simple. Those things are tools you can use, and they don't necessarily make math 'all dead'.

There are many ways to make math 'living'. One important way, I feel, is to show your kids when you do use math in your daily life. I've written about it before.

When YOU use math, it conveys the idea that math and numbers are things we use, not some obscure school subject that one does for half an hour five times a week, and then tries to forget the rest of the time.

I have never understood mothers who say they didn't like math, hated it, etc. Don't say that! That attitude will be absorbed by the little 'sponges' around you...

When kids are little, play counting games with them - show them math is part of life, part of the fun. Point out 'math' situations in life, such as: here are two plates, and then two more. Or, here's six toy cars but see, two of them drive away. Oh, look: three bikes, each of them has two wheels. Have measuring tapes, rulers, scales, calendars around your house.

When they're older and you go shopping, try 'think aloud' how you figure out comparing prices, or how you mentally calculate discounts, or do your taxes etc.

You don't have to be an 'unschooler' to use some of these ideas. Just go visit the LivingMath.net site for some more: Julie has made a page with lots of simple ideas how to make math LIVING!

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